“On one hand I grew up with Mickey Mouse and McDonalds – on the other hand I know they trade on that familiarity for sales. It’s like a bad relationship where you know you’re being used but you stay in it because it’s comfortable.”
For Jessie Shroyer, deeply considering the body’s movements became a catalyst to pursue fashion as a medium of self-expression. Originally a professional dancer, Jessie studied philosophy in order to have a chance to sit still, and detach the focus from her body; placing it on the mind instead. “In philosophy you’re taught to break down thoughts until you’re left with pure fundamentals,” she reflects. “And when I broke down my own thoughts I realized I wasn’t passionate about the physical act of dancing – I liked dancing because it gave me the opportunity to interpret characters and ideas non-verbally. “ After religiously going to clubs for a period of time, observing how people dressed resulted in a series of epiphanies that led to her newfound obsession: “the idea of identity and representing a character through wardrobe.” To Jessie, the clothes people wore when they went out were the same as the costumes she wore when she danced – people were telling their own stories through dress. “Everything sort of clicked,” she says. Her reason for going to Parsons was not quite the common interest in garments… “I didn’t want to study fashion because I was fascinated by making clothes. I wanted to study fashion because I had something to say, and Parsons wanted to hear my voice.” And so it was heard.
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society graduate collection (2016)
“A very wise person once told me that you wouldn’t solve the world’s problems by making clothing out of organic cotton.”